I’ve said this several times I think my signature “design thing” for remodels should be taking walls down and re-configuring layouts. Really it’s about this word I love lately called “functionality”! In these older homes, open concepts and taking advantage of window views and making things the most functional for a family weren’t even part of the design process it doesn’t seem. Why? I’m honestly not sure, but these are the things I love most about a home so, in every home we renovate I’ve insisted walls come down somewhere.
In our lake house (listed as a rental on Airbnb on Lake Lanier) we took a whole wall between the kitchen and living room down to create and open concept, and because it was missing the beauty of seeing the panoramic lake views. We also added some additional windows in the kitchen to maximize those views. Isn’t that what you go to the lake for “the lake”! I love the way it turned out, and all of the other flip homes we’ve done we’ve done the same thing and taken walls down and reconfigured kitchens. The method to my madness is usually to go into a house and see it and think “ugh something about this isn’t working” then my brain gets going about how to improve it. I’ve realized I’m a “fixer type” personality so it comes really easy to see ways to fix or make these homes better.
We do most of our renovations on older homes with separated, closed off, small kitchens, and living spaces. I figure out how to take a wall down, and open it up, and reconfigure the layout, and then there it is! Suddenly, a house that makes sense to the modern couple or family. I made this disclaimer on my Instagram post (follow @southerncharmbySEC) Please do not go taking walls down in your home without a contractors help! You cannot take down load bearing walls or your house will fall down!! So, please don’t try that! We do however, take walls down that are load bearing but we put beams in place to stabilize the load and support the house. You need a person with contracting expertise to help you do that.
So I said all that to bring you the update on the farmhouse… It is no different than all the others, and I couldn’t resist taking walls down! On this house the master bathroom had the funkiest layout with a wall in the way right as you walk in the door to the bathroom. It has a huge closet, but the tiniest shower I’ve ever seen, so my husband and I (who is my “go to” when bouncing ideas as well as the contractor) put our heads together and decided to take down the wall in the current library space and move the master out to the front. This created lots of amazing things… It’s going to allow us to create a shower out of the current closet, a larger vanity where the existing shower is and a separate his and hers closet. The very best thing it created was a view from our bed in the master bedroom of the pond out front. Before, a rarely used library/study area would have been there, and a person would have been missing the views in exchange for some books on some shelves and showering in the tiniest shower in existence. See what I mean? I question the priorities of the people who made house plans back then. What I do love though is going into the space later and being in complete awe of the masterpiece it created!
You know, here’s the thing about renovation… I think I love it so much because renovation is one of those things that you have to believe in. You have to see the mistakes the first time around, and you have to believe that space deserves a “do over”. Weird to think about it so deeply maybe, but I think I make a personal connection to it because I’m thankful for all the “do overs” and second chances in my life, and I’m thankful for the beauty it creates in a persons soul. Renovating does the same thing! It takes hard work, and patience, and it takes believing in something more than what you can see right now. Sure you can build new homes and people build beautiful homes that way, but there’s just something beautiful about giving things a “second chance” and that’s where I find my joy!
I’ve attached some pictures below of the farmhouse walls before the demo work and during the demo work! I hope you’re as excited as I am to see the final product.